The Esso Oil Company issued this stern warning today in 1958: If you listen to rock and roll music on your car radio, you will likely want to drive faster, which will not only be unsafe, but waste gasoline, which in 1958 cost about 19 cents a gallon.
The Beatles weren’t quite big yet in 1963, and still working their Liverpudlian arses off, wrapping up a six-night gig at a movie theater in the seaside resort town of Weston-Super-Mare in England. They spent the day with a photographer, who shot stills and 8mm movies of them frolicking on the beach in the Victorian-era swimsuits that would later be copied by The Monkees, and driving go carts.
Today was a Sunday in 1969, and the last of the three-day Seattle Pop Festival held out at Gold Creek Park in Woodinville, put on by promoter Boyd Grafmyre, who’d been at the Monterrey Pop Festival two years earlier. It’s still there, just across the Sammamish River from where the Chateau St. Michelle Winery sits today. A full month before the more famous festival in upstate New York at Woodstock, Seattle Pop featured two who would play both (Santana and Ten Years After), a few big name acts who were invited to play Woodstock but turned it down for various reasons (Led Zeppelin, The Doors, Spirit, The Byrds, and The Chicago Transit Authority), and some unique to our little shindig: The Guess Who, Albert Collins, Bo Diddley, The Youngbloods, The Flying Burrito Brothers, Ike and Tina Turner, Vanilla Fudge, Lee Michaels, It’s A Beautiful Day, and Chuck Berry. Though Woodstock would see electrifying performances by Jimi Hendrix (who skipped his hometown apparently still pissed the Seattle Police had given him the option of prison or The Army after being caught riding in a stolen car…he would play his last Seattle show at Sick’s Stadium one year later), The Who, The Band, and Crosby Stills Nash and Young, no one at Seattle Pop had to sit through 50’s greasers Sha-Na-Na.
After a four-year legal battle costing truckloads of money, John Lennon was awarded his Green Card by the U.S. State Department today in 1976, which would allow him to hang out in front of the Home Depot looking for odd jobs.
Queen today in 1986 became the first Western Musical Act to play behind the Iron Curtain…in Budapest, Hungary… since Louis Armstrong did it in 1964…the show was filmed and later released as Queen Magic In Budapest.
Lynyrd Skynyrds bass player Leon Wilkeson was found dead in a Florida hotel room today in 2001 at the age of 49 of natural causes….liver and lung disease…..it caused a bit of trouble for Skynyrd at that point, because a legal agreement with Ronnie Van Zandts widow stated that at least 3 original members of the band had to be there in order for them to use the name Lynyrd Skynyrd….but they worked it out.
Rock and Roll Birthdays
Nick Reynolds of the Kingston Trio would be 84 today….he died back in 2008….the Kingston Trio are normally thought of as a folk band from the 50’s…..but if you’ve ever heard them while you’re on Ketamine, it’s some of the most psychedelic rock ever…..I was in an operating room, under doctors supervision BTW, having a torn Achilles tendon repaired.